Digital Future Trends

iMedia Connection: iMedia Podcast

jeffrey_cole_1Jeff Cole, director of the Annenberg School’s Center for the Digital Future, describes five emerging trends to leverage.

The Center for the Digital Future, led by Jeff Cole, studies the impact of online technology on people’s lives, and society in general. Its Digital Future Report examines the behavior and views of a national sample of 2,000 internet users and non-users, as well as comparisons between new users — those with less than one year of experience — and very experienced users, defined as those with seven or more years of experience.

The World Internet Project is a long-term longitudinal look at the effects of computer and internet technology on all aspects of society, which is conducted in over 20 countries. At the announcement of the project in June 1999, Vice President Al Gore praised Cole as a “true visionary providing the public with information on how to understand the impact of media.”
In today’s presentation, Cole describes five new emerging trends that your organization will want to leverage.

 Download the electronic version of PodCast: Digital Future Trends free of charge.

This year’s report contains a large module looking at on-line communities and social networking in great detail. Readers can compare the social networking data and correlate it to seven years of attitudes and behaviors on-line. As usual, the report continues to track off-line media use, purchasing both off-line and through e-commerce, social and political activity and a wealth of other data.

PDF Download the electronic version of 2008 Digital Future Report Highlights free of charge.
button_audio Download the electronic version of 2007 Digital Future Report free of charge.



Microsoft: 50% on digital by 2010

Now it’s personal – Brand Republic News logo-microsoftMicrosoft is taking a leaf out of Amazon’s marketing book, with a focus on customer experience and participation. Alicia Buller talks to global marcoms director, Bill Capodanno.

Mich Matthews, senior vice-president, marketing, at Microsoft claimed earlier this year that 50 per cent of the company’s £500m adspend would go on digital by 2010. But, although it was a grand assertion, it was also a true assertion, according to Capodanno. "Microsoft is already allocating 30 per cent of its marketing budget to digital and, when Mich said 50 per cent, it was not some arbitrary delineation. It’s based on the patterns of media consumers use. They are making dramatic shifts into the digital space," he says.

The firm is trialling ten large-scale global social-media products, testing the viability of new media such as blogs, ‘wikis’ and messaging as customer-engagement tools.

"We think about perception-based activity and behavioural-based activity – the world is at a stage when the two things are intertwined. You can’t compartmentalise attitudes and behaviour – they are inextricably linked. Our focus is on understanding the behaviour of our consumers. Once we have shifted an attitude, then we look for deeper engagement, usually through behaviour."

"…we’re seeing the importance of customers evangelising your products. You have to create situations where those relationships breed loyalty that leads to them evangelising your product."

"There isn’t this separation between business users and consumers anymore. People are individuals…"

While Microsoft is currently focused on digital, its long-term aim is that its marketing should be channel-neutral.

"The customers are now in control, whereas, in the past, they were passive. Any marketer that fails to realise this will become …" he chooses the next word carefully, "irrelevant."


Serious business: Web 2.0 goes corporate

FAST – News & Events – Press Releases


Web 2.0 has moved from buzzword to reality in many of the world’s largest corporations, according to a survey of 406 senior executives worldwide by the Economist Intelligence Unit. The survey found that 79% of respondents see the collaborative web as a way to boost revenues and cut costs. Perhaps the most interesting finding is that a full 85% of C-suite executives see the sharing and collaboration aspects of Web 2.0 as an opportunity to increase revenue and/or margins, versus 75% of middle management. These findings point to a possible disconnect between the corner office and the rest of the organization on how to best incorporate Web 2.0 practices into business.

The most-cited effect of Web 2.0 – a collection of Web-based services that emphasize online collaboration and sharing among users – is to transform the way that companies interact with their customers. The study, which consisted of in-depth interviews with corporate leaders as well as a global survey of senior executives, found that large companies are already using Web 2.0 tools and methods in a variety of ways. So far, companies have focused their Web 2.0 efforts mainly on the creation of online communities that can help with product marketing or product development. In second place is the establishment of blogs or wikis to initiate conversations and share knowledge inside or outside the company.
In the future, companies expect Web 2.0 methods and tools to be the single biggest factor changing the ways their company interacts with customers (according to 68% of executives), or on how employees interact with each other and the company  (49% of survey respondents).

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Serious business: Web 2.0 goes corporate free of charge.


The future of marketing: From monologue to dialogue


Until a few years ago, marketing was a monologue. Marketers invested time, talent and money to broadcast messages designed to correspond with each stage of a theoretical buying cycle: awareness, research, consideration, testing, negotiation and transaction. The past two years have witnessed the first examples of true two-way marketing "conversations" between customers and some of the world’s leading consumer brands. Driven by a confluence of innovation, competition and big shifts in consumer behaviour, the dialogue between brands and their customers is replacing the traditional marketing monologue.

Among the key findings:

  • Chief marketing officers (CMOs) will need to rethink four basic elements of their work–branding, integration, measurement and accountability, and internal organisation–in order to conduct online and offline marketing activities that are relevant, measurable, and accountable to the C-suite in terms it understands, such as top-line growth and speed to market.
  • In the area of branding, the survey and in-depth interviews with senior marketers reveal that online marketing enables marketers to create interactive brand experiences that also contain a path to action for the consumer. The result is that online branding has the potential to become the central marketing expression for organisations.

  • The Internet blurs the line separating creative media and media planning/buying functions, offering marketing executives new scope to integrate these activities. Online tools, especially search engines, help marketers combine two important elements for truly integrated marketing: intelligence into customer thinking and intentions generated by other media.

  • Marketers are dissatisfied with their current ability to measure results of marketing campaigns, both offline and online. The ability to measure results will improve, however, given that CEOs are requiring direct evidence of a return for marketing investment. Return on investment (ROI) is accountability by another name and a burning concern of CMOs.

  • As the role of marketing expands to affect other corporate activities such as joint ventures, alliances and even product development, top marketers recognise a need to create new incentive structures in order to prepare their internal organisations for the increased level of accountability.

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of The future of marketing free of charge.


Online marketing needs better accountability and integration with offline campaigns, new survey finds

EIU Media Directory

A major new survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit finds that businesses will focus on international over domestic markets in the next three years

Leading companies recognise the growing need to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns, but admit that they spend little executive time doing it, according to a global survey compiled by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

  • Half of all respondents think that the level of accountability for all marketing activities is "rising dramatically".
  • Executives spend less time assessing the performance of marketing campaigns than either planning or executing them.
  • Between a third and a half say they don’t know how to measure the impact of several of their online marketing activities either.

Passive consumers become active participants


David Armano is VP of Experience Design with Critical Mass, a professional services firm with a sweet spot for creating outstanding experiences.  This is his personal blog where he shares thoughts + opinions that are solely his own.  Logic+Emotion exists at the intersection of business + experience design—where passive consumers become active participants.


pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Approach To Creating Experiences free of charge.

powerpoint Download the electronic version of The fuzzy Long Tail free of charge.

pdf_icon Download the electronic version of Experience Strategy free of charge.

Download the electronic versions of A LOT MORE free of charge!

Broadband: Remaking the Advertising Industry

Havard Business School – Working Knowledge

Evolving from the Marlboro Man in the 1960s to the Subservient Chicken in a recent Web campaign, advertising is undergoing a radical transformation. Harvard Business School professor Stephen P. Bradley, who is cowriting a book on how broadband technologies are remaking many industries, discusses how advertising is responding to the challenges. Key concepts include:

  • Traditional advertising vehicles such as television are becoming less interesting to advertisers because of fragmented viewership and inadequate user data.
  • Broadband technology is becoming more important to advertisers because of its ability to move the consumer closer to a transaction decision and to deliver clearly segmented audiences.
  • The advertising industry is wrestling with this transformation in part by merging with media companies and by launching creative ad alternatives.